You’ve stocked up on red hot green lingerie for sexy, romantic flings, and soon you’ll be able to add a benevolent vegan condom to your do-gooding sex repertoire. Sir Richard’s condoms truly double your pleasure, because for every condom you purchase, one is donated to a developing country to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. According to Sir Richard’s co-founder Mathew Gerson, only 10 percent of the global demand for free condoms is met annually.
I was so intrigued by the news swirling around this company’s innovative condoms and mission to revolutionize the condom industry and truly “do unto others,” that I contacted Mathew Gerson to get the lowdown on Sir Richard’s myself. Below is our exclusive interview.
EcoSalon: Which developing countries will you be distributing condoms to, and why are these countries your top choices?
Mathew Gerson: We are currently in discussions with organizations in Haiti, Thailand and Uganda. Each of these countries has a significant gap in the number of condoms needed in relation to the number available. The organizations that we have chosen to work with are established organizations which have seen success as regards to their efforts in increasing the use and acceptance of condoms in their regions.
EcoSalon: What are Sir Richard’s condoms made out of? Are they Fair Trade latex, casein-free and made in Malaysia?
Mathew Gerson: They are manufactured in Malaysia by one of the finest condom manufacturers in the world. To date we have not been able to source a supplier of Fair Trade latex, but we are in discussion with both TransFair USA as well as U.K. based Fair Deal Trading in the hopes that they might be able to provide for our future production runs. Sir Richard’s condoms are casein-free and vegan-friendly. We hope to have third party vegan certification in time for our next run of product.
EcoSalon: Is the packaging design (colorful plaid print) meant to appeal to gays and women – and why?
Mathew Gerson: If you go to the condom aisle in any major supermarket you will see that the condoms that are currently marketed in the U.S. are overwhelmingly designed for a younger male user. We felt that the messaging and design tended to be clinical, industrial and pretty sophomoric.
There is a lack of any uplifting sense of design or subtlety in the entire conversation brands are having with their customers. We wanted the experience of the Sir Richard’s brand to be one that is positive, both by design as well as the way in which we communicated our message and mission. Women currently purchase around 38 percent of condoms in the U.S., so we felt it was about time that their aesthetic sensibilities were finally honored.
EcoSalon: Will the Sir Richard’s condom box be able to be planted to sprout wildflowers, and will the wrappers be recyclable? Are the condoms themselves biodegradable?
Mathew Gerson: The condom is an Over The Counter (OTC) Medical Device and is heavily regulated by the FDA. That said, we don’t have a tremendous amount of creative freedom with regard to many aspects of packaging and production. We are looking into the possibility of utilizing “plantable packaging” as the company grows up. Currently our boxes are 100 percent recyclable and/or compostable paper board. The wrappers are made out of Mylar, as regulated by the FDA, which unfortunately cannot yet be recycled. One of the most environmentally responsible things you can do with your condom is to never flush them down the toilet in order to ensure the proper conditions for them to break down. Latex is 100 percent biodegradable.
EcoSalon: What is the launch date when Sir Richard’s condoms will become available in the states, and where will they be sold?
Mathew Gerson: The condoms will be available in October of this year, both online via our website www.SirRichards.com as well as in select stores and boutiques.